Okay, so you survived! Or maybe I shouldn’t make any assumptions, there.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say you survived and now have a rough draft (maybe very, very, very rough draft) of about 50,000 words.
Well, first of all, did you write to “The End”? Because if not, then you may have survived, but you’re not done. You must get through to The End, no matter how rough it is (rough meaning the process AND the pages…). If you did not get to The End, I would strongly urge that you NOT take a break, no matter how tired you are (well, maybe a day). You can slow down your schedule, set a lower per-day word or page count, but do not stop. Write every day, or every other day if that’s your schedule, but get the sucker done.
You may end up throwing away most of what you write, but it is a really, really, really bad idea not to get all the way through a story. That is how most books, scripts and probably most all other things in life worth doing are abandoned.
Conversely, if you DID get all the way to “The End”, then definitely, take a break. As long a break as possible. You should keep to a writing schedule, start brainstorming the next project, maybe do some random collaging to see what images come up that might lead to something fantastic - but if you have a completed draft, then what you need right now is SPACE from it. You are going to need fresh eyes to do the read-through that is going to take you to the next level, and the only way for you to get those fresh eyes is to leave the story alone for a while.
I am tempted to jump write in and post the blog I am thinking about on a process for reading and revising, but I will resist, at least for today, so that you really absorb what I’m saying.
1. Keep going if you’re not done –
2. Take a good long break if you have a whole first draft, and start thinking about another project.
And in the meantime, I’d love to hear how you all who were Nanoing did.
Me? I had my usual Nano, which is to say I was working on multiple projects, one in a later draft so page counts were useless or impossible, and then the order of two of my contracted books got switched in the middle of the month so I ended up starting TWO first drafts of different projects this month (!!!) but I am MUCH happier with the new order one of those. But I did get a ton of editing done on my new crime thriller, and am loving the new paranormal thriller, and I got final edits for three e books done. And I survived that incredible So Cal windstorm, too. A good month, I'd say.